Sunday, November 30, 2014 begins the liturgical season of Advent in Western Christian services. In many house of worship today this will involve special prayers and the lighting of the first Advent candle.
Some churches and families may choose to follow an Advent calendar which counts down the days until Christmas. U.S. military personnel brought the concept of the Advent calendar to the United States after World War II.
The word Advent means coming or arrival. Advent is celebrated in anticipation of the coming of the Christ Child and his anticipated return as Christ the King.
My church does not stricly follow the Christian church calendar. We certainly do Christmas and Easter in a big way. Sometimes we recognize Advent, sometimes not. Always we acknowledge the birth of the Christ child.
But you don’t have to follow a specific church ritual to anticpate the coming of the Christ Child into your own heart.
While the coming of Jesus was told for centuries in the Old Testament, most Christians acknowledge that the story surrounding the holiday we celebrate as Christmas begins with the appearance of an angel to a young, unmarried girl named Mary.